Target Area: Alva, Oklahoma to Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Chase Area: Alva, Oklahoma
Observations: a few cumulus-type clouds, blue sky, and lots of cows
Distance: 390 miles
Time: 11 hours
Chase Team: Jeff Makowski and myself
SPC Convective Outlook: Slight Risk (only See Text in target area until 1300Z) (Click to see SPC products, data, and storm reports)
Chase Setup: Large trough west of the Plains and a surface low in western Kansas. A warm front extended into Iowa and a dryline extended south of the low into northwest Oklahoma and the east Texas Panhandle. CAPE of 2000 J kg-1 over north central Oklahoma and south central Kansas, with dewpoints in the 60s. Wind shear looked good, with storm-relative helicity values of over 300 m2 s-2 in northwest Oklahoma. Strong cap over much of Oklahoma and Kansas with weak forcing. Storms expected to quickly become supercellular along the dryline in northwestern Oklahoma and southern Kansas, but storm formation was highly conditional on forcing.
Chase #2 (before)
Chase #2 Evaluation (after)
Chase Log: Everything was practically screaming tornadic supercells this day except for the lack of forcing. This was a highly conditional severe storms day, but I figured I would rather experience clear skies miles away from home than experience hearing about tornadoes in northwest Oklahoma while staying at home. Surprise, surprise, the cap stayed in place and I got the blue skies.
We left Norman at about 1:30 pm and drove north on I-35. We briefly stopped in Enid off of highway 412, to reevaluate our plan of attack. After realizing yet again that all of the ingredients were in place for supercells in northwest Oklahoma, except for a lifting mechanism, we knew that we would just have to sit and wait, and hope that a shortwave trough might find its way to our area.
We continued on highway 412 until we got to Alva, on the dryline, where we stopped outside of town near a field of cows. Here we sat and waited for nearly three hours.
We watched some tiny cumulus clouds form on the dryline, but they dissipated almost as soon as they formed. Once the sun was about to set, we just headed on home.
Although the day was a bust in terms of storms, it was rather expected. On the up side, I tested my new equipment and it all worked very well. It was nice to test on a low stress, low expectations day.
In short, I had a great day, despite the blue skies!